Juventus ousts Real Madrid to reach Champions League final
May 13, 2015, 4:12 PM
(AP Photo/Oscar del Pozo)
MADRID (AP) — Many of the 78,133 fans in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu had shocked expressions on their faces. Some held their heads in their hands.
Despite an overwhelming advantage in shots, despite outpossessing the opponents, Real Madrid had been eliminated.
No clasico against Barcelona. No 11th European title, at least not this year.
Alvaro Morata shocked his former team with a 57th-minute goal, and Juventus reached its first Champions League final since 2003 with a 1-1 tie against the defending champions on Wednesday night that gave the Italian club a 3-2 aggregate win.
“This doesn’t end here,” Morata said. “We want to create history.”
Seeking its third European title and first since 1996, Juventus plays Barcelona in the final at Berlin on June 6.
Cristiano Ronaldo put the hosts ahead with a 23rd-minute penalty kick, his 55th goal this season, after Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson ruled Giorgio Chiellini kneed James Rodriguez. That put Real Madrid ahead on away goals following Juventus’ 2-1 win at home last week.
But the Bianconeri went ahead 12 minutes into the second half when goalkeeper Iker Casillas punched Andrea Pirlo’s cross and, about 28 yards from the goal, Arturo Vidal lofted the ball into the penalty area.
Paul Pogba, just outside the 6-yard box, out-jumped Sergio Ramos and headed the ball to an unmarked Morata, and the 22-year-old Spaniard beat Casillas with a left-footed shot from 11 yards that went in on a bounce. Morata, who was with Real from 2008-14, did not celebrate, repeating his reaction after his first-leg goal.
“It’s a strange sensation,” Morata said. “I’m moved because it was an important goal, but it’s a difficult situation for me.”
Madrid, which outshot Juventus 22-8, pushed for a goal but was stymied by poor finishing and by 37-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Gareth Bale shot just wide from Marcelo’s cross in the 62nd minute, Javier Hernandez replaced Karim Benzema and sent a shot over the cross bar in the 68th. Bale headed over the crossbar minutes later.
“It’s hard,” Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. “The team fought but we have to say goodbye. We thought we had done enough with the goal, but we let it slip and paid the price. Their goal hit our team’s morale hard.”
Juventus, which has clinched its fourth straight Serie A title and is in the Italian Cup final, also won Europe’s top club title in 1985. Barcelona, which defeated Bayern Munich on Tuesday, is a four-time champion and will be playing its first final since 2011.
Real’s Carlo Ancelotti — Juventus’ coach from 1999-01, led Los Merengues to their record 10th European title and was trying to become the first to coach to win four European club championships.
“I don’t give myself grades,” Ancelotti said, “but I’d give myself a 10 because I put in a lot of time and I like what I do.”
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